Hi! Natalie Whipple, author of TRANSPARENT, here! The crew at Hot Key Books asked me to talk about my Top Ten Sci-fi novels, and truth is, I never thought of myself as a sci-fi fan growing up. I just liked what I liked and never thought about where it fit. Now that I’ve gotten older, I realize many of my favorite stories—in any media—were science fiction. Like Gattaca, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Invader Zim, Firefly, Eureka, Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragonball Z, Stargate, and Minority Report. I could list many more, but let’s get on to the books!

In no particular order:

Summer Dune

DUNE by Frank Herbert: I read Dune in 9th grade, admittedly after my dad showed me the movie. I was so fascinated by that old school sci-fi film that I had to pick up the book. I immersed myself in that novel, and it was honestly one of the few books I really enjoyed as a kid (I wasn’t a huge reader—could never seem to find books I liked). Dune fueled my imagination and was one of my first sci-fi loves.

Summer Cinder

CINDER (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer: From the first page, I knew I would love this series. While clearly sci-fi (Cinderella as a cyborg!), Cinder somehow also manages to feel like a fantasy with a little touch of Sailor Moon that makes my anime-loving heart soar.

Summer Giver

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry: This book blew my little 6th grade mind, and it’s the first novel I was given in school that I remember loving. The life of young Jonas was mesmerizing to me, so foreign and yet familiar at the same time. It made me think about life in a different way.

Summer Taken

TAKEN by Erin Bowman: A fairly new addition (debuted April 2013), Taken is a fabulous adventure in a world you think is dystopian, but quickly becomes so much more. That’s what I love about Gray’s world—it gets bigger and bigger as the book goes along. I can’t wait for more in the series (Frozen comes out April 2014)!

Summer Pivot

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West: This novel has a lot of the same flavors as my own—super abilities, contemporary feel, humor. It’s about a girl who can foresee the outcomes of any choice she makes, plus cute boys and a compound full of people with heightened mental abilities. (The sequel, Split Second, comes out February 2014.)

Summer NIL

NIL by Lynne Matson: This novel doesn’t come out until next year (March 2014), but I had the chance to help Lynne with it early on. I knew from day one that this LOST meets Survivor novel had something special. Teens get sucked through a portal to a strange island—they have a year to get off or they die. It’s awesome.

Summer Mind Games

MIND GAMES by Kiersten White (Sister Assassin in the UK): Another “super abilities” novel—I really like these, okay?—Mind Games follow two sisters who are recruited into a nefarious school for gifted girls. Though they want out, their captors use their sisterly bond to keep them both prisoners. (The sequel, Perfect Lies, is out February 2014.)

Summer Anthem

ANTHEM by Ayn Rand: The story of Equality 7-2521 hit me hard as a teen, much like The Giver did. In a future where people are one entity and saying the word “I” is punishable by death, Equality 7-2521 dares to do things others won’t. That gave me courage to stand out, and back then it felt like this future could basically be high school with a few tweaks.

Summer Drop

• NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis: Coming out this September 2013, Not A Drop To Drink is a water-starved, post-apocalyptic novel that follows Lynn, a girl trained to defend her small pond. Imagine True Grit, but in the future. While to some the “science” might be subtle, it’s clear McGinnis put in her research on water shortage and what it could do to humans both physically and mentally.

Summer Maze

THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner: Soon to be a movie, The Maze Runner is a sick game of awesomeness. Thomas and the rest of the cast are such a loveable crew in contrast the to stark lives they lead—which makes it all the worse when your favorite characters die. But seriously, read it before the film comes out!

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This summer is the Summer of Sci-fi at Hot Key Books and several of our ebooks are half price at your chosen online retailer. Check out the video below and fill your ereader with books for the last weeks of summer.